Hen has been broody for 2 months +

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CrazyChookLady9, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. CrazyChookLady9

    CrazyChookLady9 Hatching

    Feb 5, 2015
    Hi everyone!

    I'm new to this forum and hoping for some advice about my broody hen!

    I have a pekin hen that's just over 12months old and it's her second time being broody. All 4 of my hen's went broody around the same time and all the others came off (some slower than others) however she's really committed herself. I would say it's been over 2 months now. She was seriously broody at first even when I locked them out of the coop she would spend a lot of her day sitting by the coop door. She has stopped that now and will graze with the other hen's however she still clucks about and is not laying and as soon as I open the coop door she is straight back in. It's causing disruption to the other hen's as they have to find other places to lay and I am starting to worry about miss broody as she is normally at the bottom of the pecking order as it is and being broody seems to make that worse. It has got to the point where she sleeps in a box at night separate to the flock and when it comes to meal time she gets picked on a bit and I don't feel she is getting the amount of food she should be.

    Has anyone else came across this? Any tips?
  2. taprock

    taprock Songster

    Nov 1, 2010
    Northern L.P. Michigan
    Some girls are just persistent. I had a hen that was broody most of the summer even though she would leave the nest for a while each afternoon. The best way to break one is put it in a open wired cage with food and water and leave her there a day or two. When you can let her out and she doesn't fluff or go straight for the nest box she's broken. However, I did have my persistent girl that it never worked on. After a week I gave up and gave her eggs to sit on. It did work with about 12 others last summer.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Some hens will go broody pretty much indefinitely, pekins/cochins are known for being very broody and you often have to actively "break" them of being broody. There is a nice article in the Learning Center that has some tips for discouraging them, https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/encouraging-or-discouraging-broodiness-in-your-hens I like to use the raised wire cage method mentioned, usually a wire dog crate, I like to put roosts in because the wire should be spaced wide enough that they can't stand/sit on it comfortably (most dog crates seem to be around 1x4" spacing). and keep the crate in the middle of the coop/barn isle where thing are really busy and as much light as there is, you want the hen to be bothered as much as possible. For food and water I like to use small bowls I hang from the sides since some hens will sit in bowls on the floor. Usually a week or so of this and the hens will give up. Some people have even put a small fan under the cage to cool the hen off even more.

    And, Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  4. CrazyChookLady9

    CrazyChookLady9 Hatching

    Feb 5, 2015
    Thanks for the advice guys!

    I might have to do that if she persists. Being locked up would bother her enough in itself as she is free range. My only worry is when I reintergrate her back with the others if they will pick on her even more.. Either that or give her want she wants when my cockerel grows up and let her start a family [​IMG] lol
  5. MarcoPollo

    MarcoPollo Songster

    Nov 24, 2012
    Hot Coffee, MS
    Good luck with breaking her broodiness. I had no idea they went broody for that long! I think I have one now that just started the broody behavior-but she's 3 years old so I'm not sure.
    The best way I know for reintegrating a hen back into the flock is to put them on the roost at night when all is quiet. This worked several times for me. I always made sure to get back out to the coop at sunrise to make sure the "new" hen wasn't tormented. Sometimes I had to separate, then reintroduce again at night, for a few more days.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  6. JJSS89

    JJSS89 Songster

    May 14, 2014
    E Washington
    If there is food available, she will eat when hungry. She isn't eating as much because she isn't burning the energy.

    If you don't like broodys then cochins aren't the bird for you.

    I've never not appreciated a cute little broody hen and I can't imagine wanting to "break" that natural instinct.
  7. littleboots

    littleboots In the Brooder

    Dec 25, 2013
    Fletcher, NC
    She'll be ok, it sounds like she's still getting what she needs. I had a hen go broody in the fall and was broody for what seemed like forever (2 or more months). I just let it cycle through. Although, looking back I should have culled her because that's a terrible time to go broody.

    Here's some things you can try to naturally break her of her broodiness:

    1. In the morning after the hens have had time to lay, shut the door to the coop. Make sure feed and water are outside. That way your girl can't get back in to her lounge chair. Open the door just before dusk so everyone can get back in. You'll have to do this for a while.

    2. You could also move her in with another flock, or move your chickens into a different area (and house) if that's at all possible.

    3. You could also confine her somehow in her own pin or cage (no nesting boxes). This method only takes about 3 days. She'll probably puff up if you approach her while brooding. You'll see after a few days that she doesn't puff up anymore.

    I go over this and so much more in a film I'm currently Kickstarting on raising Chickens naturally from hatching to the plate. Check it out https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/433709003/permaculture-chickens
    1 person likes this.
  8. CrazyChookLady9

    CrazyChookLady9 Hatching

    Feb 5, 2015
    I will soon find out if moving them to a different coop breaks her as I have a new larger coop I'm setting up now for when I intergrate my cockerel and pullets with them. It has a lot larger sleeping area where they will all be in together so she won't hopefully get picked on too much and her favourite box will no longer be there!
    She's only sitting when the box is available to her at the moment apart from that during the day she is happy the graze around so fingers crossed the new coop does the trick then
  9. katita

    katita In the Brooder

    Nov 15, 2012
    Thanks for all the advises..My white leg horn is going on 3mo. i push her out gently after laying period... to feed and socialize..then i take out the unmarked egges..otherwise shell be laying on a mountain of egges..i think shes on overtime brooding due to her chicks leaving her to early. [​IMG]

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